[REVIEW] End of Month Reviews #46 - October 2007 [spoilers]

Martin Phipps martinphipps2 at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 14 10:05:31 PST 2007

On Nov 14, 4:34 am, "Saxon Brenton" <Saxon.Bren... at uts.edu.au> wrote:

>      Looking over the sexually suggestive shenanigans in _Coherent
> Super Stories_ #10, _Superfreaks Season 3_ #3, and my own _Legion of
> Net.Heroes Vol.2_ #23, I believe that I shall arbitrarily declare
> October 2007 to be... Smutober!

What the Dullkin Ambassador did with the cat was not sexual. :)

>      [The scene opens with Comics-Snob Boy of the LNH is sitting in
> an overstuffed chair.  He raises his glass of cognac in greeting to
> the reader.]
>      "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.  Tonight I will be reviewing
> the third season of Mr Martin Phipp's _Superfreaks_ series.
>      "Now, longtime readers of the _End Of Month Reviews_ will recall
> that at the end of _Superfreaks Season 2_ the opinion was expressed
> that,
> despite claims to the contrary, it was almost certainly the case that
> _Superfreaks_ would return.  Were this one of the lower class reviewing
> publications then I fear that the inevitable comment to be made would
> be:
> Toldja so!  Tolja so!  Tolja tolja tolja!  Neener neener neener!

Hmm.  But as you point out at the end, the premise of the series has
changed so while Superfreaks Season 3 is technically a continuation of
Superfreaks Season 2, it is also a new beginning altogether. :)

>      "However, being the adult and - dare I say it - sophisticated
> patron of the arts that the End Of Month Reviews is, I am sure that
> it would never descend to such juvenile and pugilistic name-calling.
> And so let us proceed:..."
>      [sound of the needle being swiped off an old vinyl record:
> skrrrrrt!]
>      Okay, that's enough of that.  I was going to write the whole of
> this
> review in Comic Snob Boy's voice, but I can forsee him using most of his
> time to sneer at Martin's homaging various pop culture plots and images.

Well, yes, thank you, I could do without that. :)

> Oh well, I only needed him for the neener neener neener gag anyway.  But
> that brings to mind a topic to waffle on about rather than merely doing
> a plot summary.  Long-time RACC readers will recall that Martin likes to
> pastiche various comic book, TV and movies - occasionally repeating them
> in summarised form, or more often satirising them.  There are elements
> of
> both of these in _Superfreaks Season 3_, plus the taking of elements and
> themes and weaving them into something new.
>      Now, even allowing for the fact that this is a fan forum, some of
> the... Comics-Snob Boy would no doubt use the word 'plagerism'... is
> pretty blatant.  For example, it's transparently obvious that Scott Grey
> and his wife Jean are meant to be analogues of Cyclops and Marvel Girl/
> Pheonix.  So when in the first issue it's revealed that there's a killer
> disease specific to mutants called 'Rasputin Syndrome', it was almost
> frustratingly obvious to me that their son, Nathan (a Cable analogue)
> would contract the disease and need to be taken into the future to be
> healed.  In retrospect I'm honestly surprised that Martin chose not to
> use the theme of clones to give Scott a duplicate wife to parallel the
> Madeline Prior situation.

Hmm.  I suppose I could have killed Jean off, had her cloned and have
Scott fall in love with the clone only to have Jean come back and
fight her clone.  Except it was dumb when Marvel did it.

> In any case Jean is so upset about the (even
> temporary) loss of her son that she has a psychotic episode that looks
> like a recapituation of the Dark Phoenix storyline...
>      Any then Martin does something completely unexpected.  The amount
> of mutant energy that Jean put out during her fight with Extreme is
> noted
> by aliens (the Vulcan like Dullkins) who make contact with Earth and
> bring along a number of other extraterrestrial species in issue 2.  This
> in turn causes various complications for the Pepperton police
> department:
> a murder mystery involving aliens in issue 3 and an anti-alien terrorist
> situation in issue 4.  Then in issue 5 Nathan comes back from the future
> and goes to school at Javier's so as to learn to control his impressive
> array of superhuman powers - by joining a class of mutants who are
> brought forth as a group in a scene very reminiscent of similar scenes
> that Martin has written before in various LNH and LNH2 series.

Did anybody catch the "Mornstar" gag?  It's a groaner. :)

>      I'm not entirely sure what to make of all this.  Well, apart from
> the fact that _Superfreaks Season 3_ turned out to be nowhere near as
> predictable as I had at first thought.  Perhaps it's just fanboy
> appreciation.  Perhaps it's playing 'what would happen if' games by
> taking well known situations and changing them slightly.  Perhaps Martin
> simply wanted a springboard for the alien contact situation and used
> some familiar plots as a soap opera shorthand way of getting to the
> point
> he wanted (you'll notice that the storylines given over to the police in
> the first two episodes are either setup for the Rasputin Syndrome story
> or the continuing subplot about the Goodhead Corporation's underhanded
> cloning practcices; they don't get a full A-plot until the murder
> mystery
> in issue 3.)

Actually, the first five issues were pretty evenly split between
murder investigations, mutant drama, cloning scandals and alien
arrivals.  It was about 50-50 overall much like the first two

>      Anyway, a final random thought before I wrap up.  Up until now the
> main themes have been how the presence of costumed superhumans and
> clones
> have affected the situation in a criminal investigation setting.  Now we
> get to see how the presence of entire alien civilisations affects the
> mix.  That's making the setting very 'dense' in accumulated weirdness.
> Or to put it another way:  Superhuman can have great impact on the world
> depending on how powerful they are, but here, as in many comic books,
> they tend to be in the minority and so their impact on the legal system
> could theoretically be restricted to a small subsection of case law.
> Clones, however, took the intrusion of the strange to a new level, since
> in the Superfreaks setting almost anyone can own a clone.  Now, with the
> inclusion of entire alien civilisations, we have the prospect of Earth
> culture and law being thrown into disarray.  This is because of the
> simple precedent from Earth history that when a stronger culture
> (whether
> socially, politically, economically or militarily) encounters a weaker
> one, the weaker one is frequently distorted in some way - even when the
> stronger one isn't intending to conquer or exploit to other, the simple
> transmission of new ideas via cultural imperialism causes upheaval.  The
> aliens in this case are analogues of various Star Trek aliens, which
> means the probably have a variant of the Prime Directive.  They aren't
> likely to try to conquer Earth the way General Zon wanted to.  But
> despite a probable presence of a Prime Directive they could great impact
> anyway.
>      In the end it's possible that very soon we might be reaching a
> threshold point for where the Earth culture depicted is so distorted by
> the presence of all these fantasy and science fiction elements that it's
> no longer representation as a 'real life' setting.  Whether that makes a
> difference or not to the credibility of the stories remains to be seen.

Well, I have two unstated rules: 1) no apocalyptic events like you see
in comics where people are supposed to go back to their lives the next
day as if nothing had happened and 2) no diseases that spread to the
general population such as Vampirism, Zombiism, Werewolvism, as a full
scale outbreak would qualify under 1).  That would rule out all full
scale alien invasions, including both the nuke-em Independence Day /
War of the Worlds style invasions or the Body Snatcher / Puppet
Masters style invasions (last seen in the movie simply called
Invasion).  But it wouldn't rule out competing cold war style spy
networks amongst aliens living amongst us in secret and trying to
undermine their oposing operations here on Earth, would it?  I'm
thinking of calling Superfreaks Season 3 #8 "The Skree-Krull War" but
I might come to my senses if I come up with a better idea in the
meantime. :)


More information about the racc mailing list